City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

February 24, 2011
Who is Sacramento's biggest sports fan?

I interviewed a guy in Seattle on Wednesday who carries the label of "Seattle's Biggest Sports Fan." It was a title granted to him by a local television station and it's hard to dispute.

Lorin "Big Lo" Sandretzky said he hasn't missed a home game of the NFL's Seahawks in 25 years. In their last 20 years in town, Big Lo missed only five home games for the NBA's SuperSonics.

Our talk in front of a quiet KeyArena got me thinking. Who is Sacramento's biggest sports fan? Do you know of someone who hasn't missed a Kings game in years? If so, email me at or call (916) 321-1085.

I wanted to talk to Big Lo about what it's like living in a city that has lost its NBA team. The Sonics left town three years ago and are now the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"It sucks," he told me. "What do we do, what's our solace, what's next?"

Years of unsuccessful attempts to build the Sonics a new arena were a driving force behind the team's departure. Toward the end, the team was bad on the court and attendance sagged.

Big Lo's advice for Kings fans now?

"Don't quit on your team," he said. "If you were a fan five years ago but you're not going to the games now because you don't like the way they're playing, get back on the bandwagon. Otherwise you're not going to have a team next year."

I'm saving a lot of what Big Lo told me for a story I'm working on. Look for it next week.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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